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Articles Posted in Employment Law

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released the numbers covering the 67,448 incidents of workplace discrimination in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. 

The agency was able to secure $439.2 million for victims of discrimination in FY 2020. You can view the specific breakdowns here

In FY 2020, the EEOC resolved 70,804 charges and responded to more than 470,000 calls to its toll-free hotline, which shows how in demand the public is for EEOC’s services.  

Retaliation remained the most frequently cited claim for FY 2020, and accounted for 55.8 percent of all charges filed. Disability, race and sex followed as top charges. Below are the most frequently filed charges to the least throughout the U.S. for FY 2020:

  1. Retaliation – 37,632 charges filed
  2. Disability – 24,324 charges filed
  3. Race – 22,064 charges filed
  4. Sex – 21,398 charges filed
  5. Age – 14,183 charges filed
  6. National Origin – 6,377 charges filed
  7. Color – 3,562 charges filed
  8. Religion – 2,404 charges filed
  9. Equal Pay Act – 980 charges filed
  10. Genetic Information – 440 charges filed

men-1979261_1920-300x200The EEOC did say that the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting recession has presented many challenges for American workers. The public health crisis and economic crisis has turned into a civil rights crisis which has disproportionately impacted older workers, women, people of color, individuals with disabilities, and other vulnerable workers. 

EEOC legal staff recovered more than $106 million for victims in FY 2020, the largest recovery they have made in the past 16 years. They have been successful in 95.8 percent of all their district court resolutions.

The state of Florida saw 5,868 total charges for FY 2020, according to the reports filed by the EEOC. This adds up to 8.7% of the total U.S. charges. Here is the breakdown of cases

  • Race – 1713
  • Sex – 1866
  • National Origin – 824
  • Religion – 206
  • Color – 316
  • Retaliation – 3556
  • Age – 1144
  • Disability – 2136
  • Equal Pay Act – 34
  • GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prohibits genetic information discrimination in the workplace) – 5

Workplace discrimination and retaliation remain illegal in the workplace, but as you can see from the information above, still happen at an alarming rate. These cases are not always easy to fight, or win for that matter, but in order to obtain full and fair compensation for your suffering, you need the very best team of lawyers fighting in your corner. Our Florida Employment Discrimination Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are leaders in workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. We have a successful track record handling cases involving sexual harassment, unpaid wages and overtime, wrongful termination, FMLA violations, class action suits, retaliation claims, and everything in between. We know how these types of workplace violations can disrupt both your personal and professional life, which is why we fight aggressively for our clients to be able to collect the just compensation they are owed to move forward with their careers and life. 

What Can I Expect in a First Meeting with a Florida Employment Discrimination Lawyer at Whittel & Melton? 

When you first meet with our Florida Employment Discrimination Lawyers at Whittel & Melton, we will make sure to hear out what is happening to you and then provide you with our feedback on potential legal theories. We do ask that you bring in any relevant documentation you have related to the incidents so that we can fully review your claim. You may be able to bring a claim under more than one employment law, such as you may have a sexual harassment claim as well as a retaliation claim. Whatever claim fits your case, we will help guide you through the legal process and make sure you understand our strategy and what types of damages that can be pursued against your employer. 

Before we make the decision to work together, we will also explain how our fees work as we take employment law cases on a contingency fee basis. Your consultation with us is free and we will never charge you anything to review your case. 

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Florida’s minimum wage will be going up throughout the next six years, and will ultimately reach $15 an hour. 

More than 60% of Florida voters approved Amendment 2 on November 3, 2020, which amends Florida’s Constitution and increases the minimum wage in the state. With this new mandate comes new changes that you should be aware of. In September 2021, Florida’s current minimum wage of $8.56 an hour will be increased to $10 an hour. Every year after the minimum wage will increase by $1 until 2026 when it reaches $15 an hour. 

Who does the minimum wage rate affect? 

All public and private sector employees – the size or number of employees has no bearing on the minimum wage rate. 

bank-note-941246_1920-300x225What do employers need to know about the new minimum wage rates? 

Here is the hourly minimum wage schedule that employers should use to pay non-tipped employees: 

  • Now-December 31, 2020 – $8.56
  • January 1, 2021-September 29, 2021 – $8.65
  • September 30, 2021-September 29, 2022 – $10.00
  • September 30, 2022-September 29, 2023 – $11.00
  • September 30, 2023-September 29, 2024 – $12.00
  • September 30, 2024-September 29, 2025 – $13.00
  • September 30, 2025-September 29, 2026 – $14.00
  • September 30, 2026 – $15.00

What happens once the minimum wage reaches $15 an Hour in 2026? 

Starting September 30, 2027, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will adjust the minimum wage rate annually. They will base their adjustments on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

How Does the Minimum Wage Rate Affect Tipped Employees? 

With the changes to Amendment 2, the allowable tip credit for tipped employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act still allows Florida employers to take a tip credit of up to $3.02 an hour for tipped employees. The tipped employees minimum cash wage rate will follow this schedule: 

  • Now-December 31, 2020 – $5.54 an hour plus tips
  • January 1, 2021-September 29, 2021 – $5.63 an hour plus tips 
  • September 30, 2021-September 29, 2022 – $6.98 an hour plus tips
  • September 30, 2022-September 29, 2023 – $7.98 an hour plus tips
  • September 30, 2023-September 29, 2024 – $8.98 an hour plus tips
  • September 30, 2024-September 29, 2025 – $9.98 an hour plus tips
  • September 30, 2025-September 29, 2026 – $10.98 an hour plus tips
  • September 30, 2026 – $11.98 an hour plus tips

How Many States Have Increased the Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour? 

Eight states have currently raised their minimum wage to $15 an hour. Florida is the first state in the south and the most recent to join the ranks of California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. The state of Florida is actually the first state to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by a citizens’ initiative ballot measure. While similar increases were introduced in the past during the Florida legislative sessions, the measures never passed. 

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A settlement was reached between the Department of Justice and the city of Venice, Fla in a lawsuit that involved racial discrimination against a Black employee.

The lawsuit said that the city of Venice violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for continuously discriminating against a 30-year-old Black employee. The city apparently gave the man disciplinary actions that were unnecessary and unwarranted like two unpaid suspensions. 

The lawsuit alleged that he was fired because of his race. 

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The DOJ said that the harsh discipline of this man was unjust and illegal racial discrimination. 

The DOJ also said the city did not have any legitimate reasons for treating the man more harshly than his white coworkers. 

Court documents show that the city disciplined the man nine times in a two-year period. These disciplinary actions included three separate scoldings in one day. According to court records, these disciplinary actions were for minor infractions, such as taking lunch breaks in public parks, workplace rules that were never enforced against the man’s white coworkers. 

The man was ultimately fired by the city without justification, according to reports. He was the only Black employee working in the Parks Division of the city’s Public Works Department. 

The man said he was forced to endure racial slurs, including the use of the n-word, which was used in his presence. He also said his work was always scrutinized and faulted. 

Discrimination in the workplace based on race or the color of a person’s skin are strictly prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers cannot discriminate against employees because of their skin color or race for any of the following practices: 

  • Recruiting or hiring a prospective employee
  • Terminating an employee
  • Promoting an employee
  • Paying an employee
  • Training opportunities or other workplace advancements
  • Any condition of employment 

What Constitutes Racial Discrimination in the Workplace? 

There are many things that can fall under the practice of racial discrimination, including but not limited to the following:

  • Finding job applicants from sources that makes sure all applicants, or most of the applicants, are one race. 
  • Creating barriers to job entry that have no correlation to job duties, like requiring a college degree, that is unconnected to the job itself. 
  • An employer asking pre employment questions that lead to answers that would indicate race. 
  • Employers using racial or ethnic slurs in the workplaces. On this same note, employers that allow their employees to use discriminatory slurs in the workplace without consequence. 
  • Keeping employees separated from other worker’s all based on skin color or race. An example of this action could be placing a worker in an undesirable work location all because of the color of their skin. 
  • Paying an employee less than their fellow coworkers who hold the same position and have the same experience, all because of their skin color.
  • Terminating an employee just for their skin color rather than poor work performance or any other legitimate reason for firing an employee. 

There are numerous ways for you to take legal action against your employer for discrimination in the workplace. You need to consult with an employment lawyer in order to understand all of your legal options. Our Florida Discrimination Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are here for you 24/7 to provide you with a free and confidential consultation. You can meet with us in private and no one will ever have to know you spoke with our employment attorneys regarding your rights. If you are worried about retaliation or wrongful termination, we can assure you that you have rights that pertain to these actions as well. We are happy to discuss these with you and assist with numerous employment matters, such as unpaid overtime, discrimination, sexual harassent, and Civil Rights.

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Carlos Dunlap, the defensive end for the Cincinnati Bengals, has spoken out about how he and several other NFL players were recently discriminated against over their skin color when they were participating in an offseason practice in south Florida. 

cincinnati-958841_1280-300x300Dunlap recapped an instance in Fort Lauderdale where he and a group of Black NFL players were asked by a park ranger to exit the area, while another group of white NFL players were allowed to stay and finish up their practice drills. 

Dunlap said it was frustrating and appalling. 

A cook who worked in a Disney-owned restaurant has sued Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for allegedly retaliating against her after she filed a sexual harassment complaint.

The woman, who prepared food at Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the summer of 2018, filed a federal discrimination suit in Florida’s middle district court. She alleged that a chef who supervised her harassed her, touching her inappropriately and making crude jokes.

Disney transferred the chef so that he no longer supervised the woman but then fired her after her other managers retaliated against her, the woman alleged in the complaint.

Flagler Hospital, a nonprofit hospital in St. Augustine, Fla., has been ordered to pay $107,185 in back wages to 141 employees for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Feb. 5.

After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), investigators found the hospital automatically deducted time from emergency room and labor and delivery employees’ timecards for meal breaks even when they worked through those breaks. This unpaid work time resulted in overtime being due when it occurred in workweeks longer than 40 hours. By improperly deducting the time, the employer also produced inaccurate records of the number of hours employees actually worked, violating FLSA recordkeeping requirements.

“Non-profit organizations are not excluded from the pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act,” said Wage and Hour District Director Daniel White, in Jacksonville, Florida. “Employees must be paid all the wages they have legally earned. We encourage all employers to reach out to us for assistance and to use the variety of tools we offer to ensure that their pay practices comply with federal law.”

The department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, confidential calls, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd.

WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Nonprofits should have to understand the critical importance of employee classifications and how to make the determination between exempt and nonexempt employees in order to avoid law violations. 

Understanding the Fair Labor Standards Act, which guarantees a minimum wage and overtime pay for many workers in the United States is very important for nonprofits. To properly comply with the law and treat employees fairly, nonprofits need to know which employees are exempt and which are not.

Who Is Considered an Exempt Employee?

Before a worker can be considered an exempt employee, which means they are ineligible for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act, three factors must be met:

  • Salary basis. The employee must be paid a predetermined and fixed salary that can’t be reduced based on variations in the amount of work performed.
  • Salary level. The employee’s salary must meet or exceed a specified minimum.
  • Duties. The employee’s work must primarily involve executive, administrative or professional duties. There are exceptions to this rule. For example, certain computer professionals, salespeople and other generously compensated employees may meet these requirements.

To be clear on whether an employee is exempt from overtime pay or not, a salary or a professional job title isn’t enough. To be considered an exempt employee, they must meet all three requirements.

All other workers are considered nonexempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which means they must receive at least minimum wage (currently $8.56 per hour in Florida) and get paid at least one and one-half times the regular rate for any hours beyond 40 in a single working week.

It is important to point out that hospitals, schools and preschools, government agencies and businesses that provide medical or nursing care for residents are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act regardless of annual sales or nonprofit status. 

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Under federal and state laws, disabled people are a protected class. These laws make it illegal for employers to discharge, fail to promote, fail to hire, or otherwise treat the person differently because of a physical or mental disability so long as that person is able to perform the job. These laws also require employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees with any physical or mental disabilities.

A recent settlement involving Walmart highlights disability discrimination in the workplace. 

Walmart Inc. will pay $80,000 and implement nationwide changes to its disability reassignment policy to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission (EEOC), according to the federal agency. 

The EEOC’s lawsuit claims that Walmart violated federal law by failing to reassign a long- term employee at its Augusta, Maine location to vacant positions in its  Waterville or Thomaston, Maine locations after she became disabled. The lawsuit alleged that the disbaled woman, who had worked for Walmart since 1999, developed a disability that, according to Walmart,  prevented her from continuing to work in a sales associate position in Augusta. Walmart determined that the only positions that could accommodate her disability were fitting room associate and people greeter. While there were no such positions vacant in Augusta, there were two fitting room associate positions open in Waterville and one in Thomaston. Walmart’s policy, however, was to search for open positions only in the store where the employee had been working. Because of this, Walmart did not transfer the woman to the positions in  Waterville or Thomaston, which she would have happily accepted. As a result, the woman never worked for Walmart again.

The  Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating based on disability and imposes a requirement that employees with disabilities be provided a reasonable accommodation, absent undue hardship on the employer. The ADA states that one of these accommodations is reassignment to a vacant position.

The  EEOC filed its suit (Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-00170-JDL) in U.S. District  Court for the District of Maine in Bangor after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

As  part of the settlement, Walmart will change its policy so associates with a disability that are eligible  for job reassignment under the ADA as a reasonable accommodation can request that Walmart search at up to five stores beyond  an associate’s then-current store location (“home store”) or in the home store’s entire market. The revised procedures will be applied to all hourly field associates working in Walmart retail stores in the United States.

Walmart is also enjoined from failing to offer to reassign a qualified individual with a disability to a vacant position. Finally, the woman will receive payment of $80,000.

“Federal law requires employers to reassign employees with a disability to vacant positions as the reasonable accommodation of last resort,” said Jeffrey Burstein, regional attorney for the EEOC’s New York District Office.  “We are very pleased that this lawsuit, which arose from a single employee’s complaint, resulted in the nationwide change we sought, and we applaud Walmart for making that change.”

EEOC New York District  Director Kevin Berry added,  “Employers cannot refuse to offer a reasonable accommodation required by law absent undue hardship. This case demonstrates that looking beyond the home store  for a vacant position is not an undue hardship.”

The EEOC’s New York District  Office oversees New York, Northern New Jersey,  Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. 

The law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. These accommodations can include:

  • Medical leave or even the extension of medical leave
  • Allowing an employee to work from home
  • Reassigning to an available position
  • Modified equipment or devices
  • Modified work schedules
  • Adjustment of policies or additional training
  • Interpreters or any other required assistance
  • Accessible workspace

Once an employee tells their employer that they have a disability that requires accommodations, there are certain state laws that kick in requiring an interactive process between the employer and the employee. In the state of Florida, this interactive process requires the employer to communicate with the employee in selecting an appropriate accommodation. The best way to initiate this process is for the employee to request a reasonable accommodation. This interactive process involves various things, such as analyzing the particular job involved to determine the essential functions, speaking with the employee to learn their job-related limitations, talking with the employee to identify potential accommodations and get their preferences as far as the job duties are concerned. 

Reasonable accommodations can include things such as making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to individuals with disabilities, restructuring jobs, modifying the position to part-time, modifications of equipment used, adjusting the training materials and policies related to the job, and/or providing qualified readers or interpreters.

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A pair of Las Vegas attorneys settled a federal legal malpractice lawsuit against a former Pure nightclub cocktail waitress, who claimed she was attacked by the son of a Caesars Entertainment Corp. executive and former Las Vegas mayor. 

The confidential settlement between the woman and the attorneys was reached Tuesday, just days before the case was set for a jury trial, according to court records.

The woman had hired the law partners to represent her in a personal injury case against a man who attacked her on Jan. 4, 2009 at Caesars Palace, where she worked as a cocktail server. The suit also named Pure and Caesars Entertainment as defendants. 

The 2014 lawsuit identifies resulted in the woman suing her attorneys on claims of legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty and deceptive trade practices. According to the suit, one of the attorneys had conflicts of interest when his firm was hired to represent the woman in the personal injury case.

The attorney was also representing a Pure executive in a tax evasion case at the time, according to the malpractice suit.

According to the malpractice suit, the defendants’ errors forced the woman to settle for $225,000, which was less than 5 percent of McKenna’s actual damages.

Another law firm helped the woman settle her personal injury case. She had hired the firm to replace her original attorney’s firm on the case after more than four years.

Pure Management Group fired the woman in 2012 “due to physical and cognitive disabilities resulting from her attack,” according to the lawsuit.

At the nightclub early one morning in January 2009, the man who attacked her asked the woman to sit on his lap, and when she “refused his advances and turned to leave, the man pulled her into his lap,” the lawsuit said. After he “lunged at her, placed his hands around her throat, and began choking and shaking her,” the lawsuit alleged, the woman “blacked out and fell.”

Your workplace should be a safe place where you can perform your job duties worry free. A workplace should never be a hostile environment where acts of violence are carried out by other co-workers, managers and owners, or persons from the outside.  However, the sad truth is that workplace environments can be dangerous and acts of violence including assault and battery, sexual assaults, and gun shootings do happen. When these acts occur, workplace injuries and fatalities can easily happen. 

Workplace violence may include:

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Intimidation and Bullying
  • Intentional Emotional Pain or Psychological Trauma
  • Sexual Assault 
  • Sexual Battery
  • Assault and Battery, including unwanted grabbing, pulling of hair, hitting, and punching

Many times, the above types of acts go unreported because employees are worried about losing their jobs. You should not have to endure working in an unsafe environment, and our Florida Employment Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you if you have found yourself in these types of situations.

There are certain industries that are more susceptible to suffering from workplace violence. Some industries where workers may be victims of workplace violence may include:

  • Bar and Nightclub Workers
  • Liquor store and convenient store employees working late night shifts
  • Health care workers in hospitals
  • Social workers
  • Prison Guards and Security Guards Workers
  • Maids and nannies
  • State and Federal Government employees
  • Firemen and Police officers
  • School Teachers, coaches, and administrative staff

Our Employment Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help protect victims of workplace violence. If you have been a victim of a violent act in the workplace you may be entitled to recovery for medical bills, rehabilitation costs, future medical bills and prescriptions, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish. 

As with any type of workplace issue, such as sexual harassment or discrimination, if an employer became aware of a situation of a hostile work environment, but failed to further investigate, intervene, or otherwise address the issue, they may also be held responsible for the actions of an employee. Employers have certain duties to keep their employees safe, and when you are subjected to violence at work, you have the right to pursue legal action for justice. 

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Following a DUI arrest, many people start to wonder what the consequences will be. Will they go to jail? Will they be able to drive? Will they be fired from their job? While all of these scenarios are possible, whether or not you will be fired from your job depends on a variety of factors such as what kind of job you have, and what the company employment policies are for criminal offense records that include DUI-related arrests. Another important thing to note is that an employer may decide to terminate a person’s employment for any reason, however that does not mean they always have a legal basis to do so.

An Orange County Sheriff’s deputy was fired last month after his March DUI arrest, when authorities allege they found his blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit to drive. 

The 56-year-old former deputy was in his truck about 3:30 a.m. March 18 when a Winter Garden police officer noticed him stopped beyond a crosswalk at an intersection, according to an OCSO internal affairs investigation. The truck did not move for two full cycles of the traffic signal and, when the officer walked to the driver’s side, she said she found the man with his head slumped on his chest with the truck still in drive.

The officer claims she repeatedly banged on the window and got no response from the man. When he awoke, the truck rolled further into the intersection, where cross traffic was traveling at 45 mph, according to reports.

The Winter Garden officer requested an ambulance for the man to make sure he was not in distress. After he was medically cleared, the officer began field sobriety tests with the former deputy, all of which she said he failed, including a one-leg stand and heel-to-toe steps.

She claims the man had red watery eyes and a strong smell of alcohol on him, as well as slurred speed. 

The man later consented to a breath test, which recorded his blood alcohol content at 0.165 and 0.179, the report said. Both are more than twice Florida’s legal limit to drive, 0.08.

The man, a deputy since 1996, was not on duty and was driving his personal vehicle at the time of his arrest. He had most recently been assigned to the agency’s special operations division in aviation, but had not been performing law enforcement duties since his arrest, the report said.

In May, the man pleaded no contest to reckless driving, after multiple attempts to suppress evidence from the traffic stop, court records show. He was sentenced to one day in jail, a DUI class and 75 hours of community service, all of which he completed.

The man was found in violation of the OCSO’s policy on conforming to laws.

Reckless driving is a misdemeanor and reports indicate that there are other OCSO personnel who have been arrested on DUI and not fired.

The man appealed his firing, but an administrative review upheld it. He is still awaiting a final decision from the Disciplinary Appeal Board, according to reports. 

If you are worried about getting fired after a drunk or drugged driving arrest, the best thing you can do is get legal help from our Florida Employment Law Attorneys at Whittel & Melton so that we can examine your arrest and make sure you do not make any potential mistakes when you meet with your employer to discuss the incident.

We understand just how much a DUI arrest and a person’s job can suddenly become two major problems to deal with. We have helped many drivers in your same predicament figure out how to handle these two separate, but related issues. 

The first step is to let us review your case information to see if we can legally protect your employment rights. Once we do, we can go over all of your options when alerting your employer about your arrest. If your employment duties require you to be able to drive for the company, or if you drive a company car, then you have to inform your employer of the DUI-related arrest offense immediately, as well as the possibility of a driver’s license suspension.

Most companies will need to be updated on any further happenings with your DUI matter. Let’s say a person was arrested for a DUI and did not tell their employer and continued to drive a company vehicle while their driver’s license was suspended, that person could very well be fired for their actions. Failing to disclose an arrest or license suspension is considered reasonable cause for an employee’s termination.

You may also be wondering if you can get fired for DUI even if you have not gone to court or been convicted. The answer is yes, it is possible, as many employers have company policies regarding DUI arrests and subsequent convictions regarding their employees.

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According to the Labor Department, a $5 million settlement has been reached with chip maker Intel Corp. over allegations of pay discrimination against its female, African American and Hispanic employees. 

As part of the agreement, Intel will pay $3.5 million in back wages and interest. It is also allocating at least $1.5 million in pay adjustments over the next five years for U.S. workers in engineering positions. 

Intel said Tuesday that it is pleased to have resolved the matter and said it achieved global pay equality in January. 

Like many other tech companies, Intel employs mostly white and Asian men, especially in technical positions such as engineering. According to its most recent diversity report , 27% of its employees are women, 9% are Hispanic and less than 5% African American.

Across the board, studies show women are frequently paid less than men for performing the same job. While the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act are designed to prohibit such discrimination, pay disparity remains a problem for many Florida women, in part because the laws themselves include a number of procedural hurdles that must be cleared before an equal pay claim ever reaches a trial court.

Employees are supposed to be free from wage discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, or disability. These rights are protected by the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Despite all these protections, there are many studies that document the significant wage disparities between men and women, and between white people and people of color. Sadly, this also means that the pay gap is the worst for women of color.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender, and require that men and women be paid equally for equal work. There are very important differences in these laws, which is why you need to work with an experienced and knowledgeable employment discrimination attorney who knows the differences between the two, and can advise you on the best course of action for you lawsuit.

In order to prove a case of race or gender-based wage discrimination an employee must show that an employer treats workers differently based on race, color, gender, or national origin.

Race-based wage discrimination is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states it is illegal for an employer to discriminate based on race. Race-based discrimination can be committed against an employee, or even someone who is applying for a job. Some examples of race-based discrimination includes: 

  • Pay rate
  • The decision whether or not to hire an applicant
  • Title
  • Promotion
  • Benefits

It is illegal for an employer to make an employment decision with regard to any of these terms of employment based on race, gender, color, or national origin. Race and gender-based discrimination does not necessarily have to be overt. An employer may have committed race or gender-based wage discrimination by implementing seemingly-neutral policies that disproportionately affect people of a particular race or gender.

A successful race or gender-based discrimination claim can include the following compensation: 

  • Back pay
  • Lost wages 
  • out-of-pocket expenses
  • Court costs and attorneys’ fees
  • Damages for emotional and mental anguish

Punitive damages, which are given out to punish your employer for violating the law. These are only awarded in situations where the employer acted intentionally or in a particularly egregious way.

With that said, many people facing discrimination in the workplace are scared to come forward out of fear of being retaliated against by their employer. Our Florida Discrimination Attorneys at Whittel & Melton want you to know that the law strictly forbids retaliation against employees for reporting illegal discrimination. If you have complained of discrimination or made a report to HR, and after you said something, your employer demoted or terminated you, or diminished your wages and/or benefits, you may very well have a claim for retaliation. To prove a claim of retaliation, you must prove that you suffered an adverse employment action because you complained about or reported discrimination.

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